While Part 1 dealt with universal bathroom concepts, Part 2 is where you get to customize the bathroom to suit the unique needs of your family. Specifically, we’ll look at the three main areas of the bathroom: toilet, vanity, and shower/bathtub.
It gets harder and harder to bend the knees as people grow older. That’s why it’s better for the toilet to be at a raised height. There are many different toilet models that have this design feature, but it’s simplest to install a wall-hung toilet. That way, you can customize the height precisely to your senior family member’s preference. It also has the added advantage of saving on space since the toilet tank is out of the way.
Just remember to set a footstool nearby for the kids to reach toilet. It’s just a temporary arrangement as they’ll outgrow the need for a footstool very quickly.
A large household means there’s always going to be high traffic for the bathroom. Think about the mornings when everyone is getting ready for work and school. A double-basin or wide trough-style sink would ease the traffic flow a lot. It also means you can make use of that oversized vanity storage idea mentioned in Part 1.
More people using the vanity results in frequent messes though. Quartz, granite or porcelain materials offer the easiest surface cleaning. This article also gives other stone material ideas for the bathroom vanity.
For the sink(s), be sure to use single-lever faucets. Both the grandparents and the children would appreciate how easy it is to use the faucet.
What’s more, soft-close drawers and hideaway outlets around the vanity are great children’s safety features. The hideaway outlets can either be pull-out models integrated into the vanity top or simply regular outlets hidden behind vanity drawers.
What to do though when the kids want a bathtub and the adults want a shower? A wet room is an increasingly popular way to include both a shower and a bathtub without taking up too much space. It’s essentially a curbless walk-in shower with a free-standing bathtub inside. If space is still too limited for a wet room, the next best compromise is the usual showerhead-over-bathtub. For the bathtub though, try to get a walk-in version with extra-wide edges.
Both the shower floor and the bathtub bottoms should have non-slip surfaces. If necessary, add anti-slip shower mats for good measure. Just outside of the shower or bathtub, lay out an anti-slip and washable bathmat. This is an easy-maintenance way to minimize the slipping hazard of wet footprints all over the bathroom.
There should also be a bench built in to give the senior folk the option of sitting down for their shower. We can help you design a custom one that’s both functional and stylish. You should also have different-angled safety grab bars securely fastened to wall studs. And for the sake of shower convenience when sitting down on the bench, make sure the showerhead has a detachable handheld wand.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of designing a family-friendly bathroom is that it’ll give you peace of mind. You’ve made the most accident-prone room in the house more secure. Your kids don’t mind going in there as you teach them the importance of personal hygiene. Your elders are thankful for your thoughtfulness in making the bathroom accessible. In the end, these all add up to a happier family.